The Important and Symbolic Meaning of the Elephant
The True Meaning of the Elephant
In both Hinduism and Buddhism the elephant is seen as a holy animal, and its likeness is represented in the form of many gods. The elephant is not worshipped directly but indirectly for their qualities that people wish to emulate.
Elephants are a powerful role model for many people in their spiritual lifestyle because they are obedient towards their leader, they have a steadfast nature about them because they are unstoppable once set on a path, and they have large ears that are used to listen much more so than to speak.
Different Interpretations of the Elephant in Society
In Buddhism the elephant holds a deep spiritual significance but it differs from Hinduism. When Siddhartha Gupta, Buddha’s mother, was pregnant with him she dreamt of a pure white elephant that bent down and presented her with a beautiful white lotus from his trunk. After he then proceeded to circle around her three times before then entering her womb. After she woke up from this dream she knew that this dream was indicative of a divine omen.
So even at his inception, Buddha was beautifully linked to the elephant.
Elephants are gentle giants and while extremely strong and powerful, unless provoked, they have a very low key temperament. They could easily be destructive if they wanted to be but that is not in their nature. They have a quiet confidence and power about them, and while they could dominate, they prefer to be peaceful and calm.
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Having elephant art is a great reminder of how strong you are and no matter what hardships come your way you have the strength and wisdom to overcome anything
The elephant is a sign of strength and unyielding resoluteness. The white elephant is considered particularly special in some cultures due to its rarity and purity.
In Buddhism, the gray elephant is a symbol of the untrained mind which is more prone to wander or deviate from the path of enlightenment.
With practice and patience, it is believed that the ability to control one’s thoughts through mindfulness and meditation to achieve true enlightenment is possible, and this state is represented by the white elephant as a transformation of sorts.
While some people are simply attracted to the complexity and visual appeal of the elephant, realizing and exploring the deeper meaning behind the beauty of this animal can lead to a greater sense of spirituality and knowing of the self and inner peace.
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